Re: Fear in Aikido
Many time fear comes out of ignorance, out of lack of understanding. In order to conquer that fear, which is many times a component or extension of confusion, we seek knowledge. I think ignorance and confusion most directly transmute into fear when they are on the physical level, based on our instincts as living beings. Intellectual-based confusion does not as easily move to fear (even if we are at risk of losing our jobs owing to some degree of intellectual incompetence, to take an extreme case). A martial art is an easy target for a fearful/confused person, not so different from the desire to own a gun or other weapon. This is, I think, because at least initially, such a "reaction to fear" sees the solution as an external appendage. This is necessarily the case if there is ignorant confusion, i.e., lack of understanding. However, with a martial art, ideally weaponless, the training should teach basci body skills which give understanding through experience, leading to less confusion and ignorance, and thus less fear. Fear becomes rational. I have met many people in martial arts for whom the art is still an external thing, and who still suffer from the same confusion as before. It is a matter of time and dedicated practice, combined with proper teaching, to change such individuals into confident persons. This is a great benefit of the practice of martial arts, and I think this can be seen as a very spiritual thing also.